Thursday, August 27, 2009

War is illegal for the U.S.

and has been since we signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact on this date in 1928. It says:

The High Contracting Parties solemly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.


The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.


The present Treaty shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties named in the Preamble in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements, and shall take effect as between them as soon as all their several instruments of ratification shall have been deposited at Washington.

This Treaty shall, when it has come into effect as prescribed in the preceding paragraph, remain open as long as may be necessary for adherence by all the other Powers of the world. Every instrument evidencing the adherence of a Power shall be deposited at Washington and the Treaty shall immediately upon such deposit become effective as; between the Power thus adhering and the other Powers parties hereto.

It shall be the duty of the Government of the United States to fumish each Government named in the Preamble and every Government subsequently adhering to this Treaty with a certified copy of the Treaty and of every instrument of ratification or adherence. It shall also be the duty of the Government of the United States telegraphically to notify such Governments immediately upon the deposit with it of each instrument of ratification or adherence.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty in the French and English languages both texts having equal force, and hereunto affix their seals.

DONE at Paris, the twenty seventh day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight.

This is a binding treaty that we remain subject to. It's on the government list of treaties in force. Hmmm... I wonder, if someone brought this document to Washington's attention, could we bring our troops home?


  1. Anonymous8:05 AM

    I had heard of this, but had never seen the text. Fascinating.
    A Pal

  2. I remember reading of the contempt heaped upon the Kellog-Briand Pact after its worldview collapsed in 1939. So although it's on the books, I doubt that this treaty is enforceable.

  3. "I doubt that this treaty is enforceable."

    lol, yes, indeed. Seems like the U.S. has participated in a few wars (or "police actions" or whatever else they get called) since 1928. It'd probably surprise me to find out how many treaties are just ignored by common consent of the signers.